Determining your company’s future starts with a plan. A business growth plan defines the company’s objectives as well as the corresponding steps that will be taken to achieve them.
A growth plan is critical in the long term success and viability of any business. Here’s how to create a growth business plan.
- Clearly define your company’s mission. You need to set down what your objectives are. Other than making money, what is the company about and how it will contribute to society? Clearly state what the company has to offer. You have to be able to define what your long and short-term goals are, as well as the concrete steps you will take to achieve it.
- Determine your target market. You need to have a clear idea whom the company is catering to. If you are not clear who your market is, you cannot make a definitive and effective marketing plan.
- Provide an evaluation of each of the divisions. Analyze how each division contributes or takes away from the success of the company. Include also any expansion plans regarding a specific division. All divisions of a company are important to its success, but find ways to streamline processes, to bring down costs and yet increase productivity.
- Do a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis (SWOT analysis) of the company. Be critical yet constructive. This will help you determine what areas need to be improved and which ones should be maintained to remain competitive. A business growth plan also accounts for outside competition since no business is a monopoly. Any success today cannot be taken for granted to hold over in the future unless constant innovation and a competitive edge are pushed.
- Set a time line for progress. A benchmark should be set every quarter, semi annually and annually. Also, you should be prepared for the future of the company as far as the next five years. At every phase, there should be clear goal or success marker to be reached to indicate whether the company is on track or not. This can be defined either in percentage of market share, number of units sold or total gross income. Every time segment should also have a budget set to support its operations and it should also be indicated how these funds will be generated.
- Set the strategy the company will employ to reach its goals. It can be in innovation by introducing modified products or changes to an existing product or service. Market concentration can also be employed wherein you saturate the market so that the company will have the bulk of the market share for similar products. Another step could be market penetration wherein the company will offer its products and services to a new market, such as opening markets overseas. Finally, there is also diversification wherein the company will offer new and complementary products and services aside from its existing product line. For example if you are a juice drink company, perhaps you want to introduce snack foods within the next five years. A combination of these strategies may be employed.
It may take a team to create the growth business plan. You may even need to hire outside consultants to help create one. Take the time to write one because the company’s future will depend on it.